We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Perseverance is often viewed as a dirty word. You hear it and immediately picture hardship and struggle. It seems much easier to take shortcuts and not work quite so hard, especially if the perceived outcome seems fairly similar. You may just think, “Why can’t I do it my own way?”
That is pretty much what Roger Staubach, the storied quarterback for the champion Dallas Cowboys (1969-1979), thought early in his NFL career. Though he respected his legendary coach, Tom Landry, he wanted to have more control on the field, call his own plays and lead the team the way he thought was best. The time came, however, that Staubach had to determine whether he would continue to rebel against his coach or bow to his direction. He eventually came to trust his coach, obey his will on the field and lead his team to two Super Bowl victories. Eventually Staubach would utter these well-known words: “Nothing good comes in life or athletics unless a lot of hard work has preceded the effort. Only temporary success is achieved by taking short cuts.”
Staubach learned that to reach the goal he needed to persevere. Eugene Peterson, author of the Message Bible, calls perseverance “a long obedience in the same direction.”
Whether we speak of football or life, we must persevere if we want to end well. That means spending time each day learning and obeying what God has to say to you in His word just as it means following and integrating all that your coaches want you to learn and do.
Roger Staubach came to regard 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 as one of his favorite passages of Scripture. He came to respect that enduring through hardship was possible because Jesus was Lord of his life. How about you? Do you struggle to submit to the will of your coaches? Of God? It is never too late to repent and do a “180º.” Remember there is always Someone who knows what is best better than you.